Dr. Chang C. Chen: Herstory: The Legal History of Chinese-American Women

Herstory documents the legal history of Chinese American women. The content of the exhibition is derived from U.S. Supreme Court cases, various state Supreme Court cases, and cases fought by Chinese American women who disproved the ancient Chinese saying “Only unpleasant endings emerge from lawsuits.“ Their courage has forged the way for Chinese American women to gain basic legal standing in the US.

The cases, beginning in 1852, document women who fought for equal treatment in the eyes of the law, as well as citizenship and immigration rights. This exhibit and Dr. Chiu’s books also document Chinese American women who have sought to gain a voice by running for public office.

Overall, the Herstory exhibition is about extraordinary women who fought for their rights, and, in doing so, helped shape a new America for all.


Dr. Chang C Chen, aka Dr. Chiu Chang (邱彰) has authored more than 72 books, whose topics range from law to marriage, Herstory-the Legal History of Chinese American Women is her first book in English and the first exhibition she ever curated.  

Dr. Chiu grew up in Taiwan and immigrated to America 50 years ago to pursue her graduate studies. After obtaining her Ph.D in biochemistry from Rutgers University and J.D. from Columbia University Law School, she launched an illustrious legal career spanning 35 years. One of her most notorious and victorious lawsuits was a pro bono case where she negotiated against the banks on behalf of 250 Taiwan families who had purchased Lehman Brothers junk bonds. The Taiwan Bar Association then prosecuted her for her good deed, which they alleged to be “illegal practice of Taiwan law”. Dr. Chiu prevailed in both the Taiwan District Court and the Appellate Court. 

Not one to just practice law, she also served as a Taiwan senator and hosted four television shows. During the 1990s, her most popular program “Chiu Chang Talking Law” on Star-TV in Hong Kong catapulted her into the limelight. She swiftly became a celebrity female attorney and personality.

This exhibition is the second of the Herstory series she has curated. What started as a small personal project for Dr. Chiu snowballed into something much larger. International libraries and museums around the globe, from Taiwan, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Hawaii, New York and more, have showcased Herstory. When she started this project, a search in the index of the Library of Congress for the phrase “Chinese American Women” yielded no results. Now, thanks to Herstory, tens of thousands of entries exist. Dr. Chiu is humbled to have played a part in ensuring Chinese American women are acknowledged in history.

On exhibit at Spring Valley Library from May 2 through June 27, 2023

Reception: Friday, May 5 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.


Monday: 10:00AM – 8:00PM
Tuesday: 10:00AM – 8:00PM
Wednesday: 10:00AM – 8:00PM
Thursday: 10:00AM – 8:00PM
Friday: 10:00AM – 6:00PM
Saturday: 10:00AM – 6:00PM
Sunday: 10:00AM – 6:00PM